Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >
Nov 15, 2009 05:58 PM

Where can I find good chili powder?

I don't mean that weird orange powder they sell at Safeway...I am looking for the dark, almost black-red stuff that is slightly grainy and shiny--not necessarily super-hot, but just a robust roasted chili taste. And I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it, so looking for a source maybe in a local Mexican market. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Market Spice at Pike Place Market.

    Pike Place Market
    1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

    1 Reply
    1. re: firecracker

      Cross the South Park Bridge (14th-16th Ave) to South Park and see the Mexi-Mart (sic).
      In the Pike Place Market, see also the Mexican Grocery, just South of Starbuck's #1.
      When I got back from Texas, Market Spice was my source for daily cooking chlis. They called them pasilla, some days maybe poblano, but, Ancho will do...

      Pike Place Market
      1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

    2. For chili powder that already has cumin and oregano added, I'd look in the regular spice section of a grocery. Gebhardt is a brand that is commonly seen in competition chili lists. With the beans you might find Wick Fowlers Two Alarm Chili, which has these ingredients in separate cello packages.

      In the Mexican aisle you should find a rack of spices in cello packages. Those often include one or more types of ground dried chile (not chili powder). They may be labeled New Mexico, Ancho, Pasilla, etc. Those racks also have whole dried chiles, which you could grind yourself (or rehydrate and puree).

      I've never noticed the 'shiny' quality - though in some grinds the skin might give it a shiny quality.

      In Mexican/Latino shops (in the Seattle area) you will find a wider variety of whole dried chiles, but the selection of preground ones won't be any bigger, maybe even less.

      In a place like Central Market you might also find packages from boutique vendors in New Mexico (or similar).

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        I've seen Gebhardt chili powder in several competition chili recipes. While I usually make my own, I think these guys probably know what they're doing better than me, and trust there chili to a mass-produced chili powder.

        Does anyone know what stores carry Gebhardt in Seattle? Also, (for my chili recipe) has anyone seen Snap-e-Tom tomato/chile cocktail juice in Seattle?

      2. You can check out Penzey's spices
        I bought the Chile 9000 and really like it. They have the single ingredient ground chilies and they also have a few chili powder blends that are very good. They have a store near Portland; I don't know about other locations. You can mail order.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Whidster

          If you don't want to go to the trouble of toasting and grinding your own chiles, I've been impressed with the ground spices at PCC. I've not tried any chile powder, but I like the garam masala and the curry powder.

        2. From your description it sounds like ground pasilla chili would fit the bill. There is a Mexican shop by Starbucks in the Pike Place Market that sells it. They also have some other varieties. They have a blend they call Rio Grande which good, too.

          I used to be able to find pasilla chili powder in most grocery stores in the bags that are usually in the Mexican food section. It's kind of hit or miss now whether I can find it there.

          Pike Place Market
          1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

          1. I had read several Chili recipes that called for Ancho Chili powder. Had a devil of a time finding it. I then read that Ancho Chili powder is the dried version of the Poblano and by chance found it at Whole Foods. It was in a cellophane bag.


            1 Reply
            1. re: JuniorBalloon

              And to confuse things more (for the uninitiated), Poblanos are often labeled as Pasilla (in the produce department). Less frequently Pasilla is also applied to the dried form. So it is wise to recognize these peppers by shape and appearance. Obviously that is less helpful when identifying the ground form. But as long as you don't substitute a hot powder for a mild one, a mistaken identity should not ruin the dish.